Become a Vet Tech | Vet Tech Schools Los Altos CA

How to Choose a Veterinary Technician Program near Los Altos California

Los Altos CA vet tech diagnosing puppyRealizing your long term aspiration of working with and caring for pets by enrolling in a veterinary technician school near Los Altos CA may at first seem like an overwhelming task. After all, you need to find and enroll in a school that will deliver the appropriate training so that you can be successful as a vet tech. But just how do you go about analyzing and contrasting colleges so that you can make the correct choice? Many future students begin their due diligence process by looking for campuses that are near their residences. Once they have identified some area colleges, they determine which ones have the most affordable tuition and hone in on those. Although cost and location are important concerns when evaluating veterinary technician schools, they are not the only critical ones when making your comparisons. Qualifiers such as accreditation and internship programs need to be looked into also. The main idea is that there are questions you need to be asking the vet technician programs you are considering before you make a final choice. We have presented several within this article in order to help get you started, but before we review them we’ll discuss the varied responsibilities of vet techs and the training options offered.

The Function of a Vet Tech in Los Altos CA 

cat with cone after surgery in Los Altos CAOne of the initial decisions that you will have to make is whether you want to train as a vet assistant, technician or technologist. Part of your decision might be based on the amount of time and money that you have to devote to your education, but the main factor will most likely be which specialization appeals to you the most. What technicians and assistants share in common is that they each work under the immediate direction of a practicing and licensed veterinarian. And while there are numerous duties that they can perform within the Los Altos CA veterinary clinic or hospital, they can’t prescribe drugs, diagnose conditions, or conduct surgeries. In those areas they can only provide support to a licensed veterinarian. There are technologists and technicians that work outside of the conventional vet practice, for instance for animal shelters, zoos or law enforcement. Let’s take a look at the duties and education prerequisites for each specialty.

  • Vet Assistants in the majority of instances will have undergone a formal training program, either as an intern or apprentice in a practice, or by finishing a certificate program at a community college or trade school. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the veterinarians and vet technicians in the execution of their duties. Usually they are not involved with more complicated activities, such as assisting with surgical procedures. A few of their normal functions may include working at the front desk, cleaning and preparing exam rooms and equipment, or handling animals during exams.
  • Vet Technicians undergo more extensive training compared to assistants and generally obtain a 2 year Associate Degree, ideally from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a sense the vet equivalent of medical nurses, since their basic job function is to assist vets with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they stand apart from vet assistants is that they are engaged in more involved functions, such as assisting with surgical procedures or administering medicine. All states currently require vet technicians pass a credentialing exam for either licensing, registration or certification.
  • Vet Technologists are similar to veterinary techs and essentially carry out the same job functions. They are required to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology, which typically requires 4 years to complete. Therefore the main difference between a vet technologist and a technician is the technologist’s more advanced level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more work opportunities, increased salaries and possible management positions. They are additionally mandated to pass a credentialing exam for either registration, certification or licensing.

Vet technicians and technologists may specialize in areas such as anesthesia, internal medicine or emergency care. Some may receive certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in  Los Altos CA labs or research facilities as well.

Veterinary Technician Online Programs Offered in Los Altos

student attending online vet tech school in Los Altos CAAn option that may be a solution for those with a busy schedule or who are working full time while going to veterinarian school is to enroll in an online program. Because the classes are provided over the internet, students can attend on their own timetable wherever a computer is accessible. The curriculum is taught using several venues, including slide shows, videos and live streaming webinars. And since most vet technician and technologist degrees require practical training, that portion can normally be completed as an internship or work study program at a local Los Altos CA veterinarian clinic or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, can in many instances lower the cost of your education. Tuition and secondary expenses, for instance for commuting and study supplies, may be lower compared to more traditional classroom programs. Just make sure that the program that you choose is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally recognized accrediting organization. With the online classes and the clinical training, everything is provided for a complete education. So if you are dedicated enough to learn in this more independent manner, an online veterinary technician program may be the right choice for you.

What to Ask Los Altos CA Veterinary Technician Programs

Questions to ask Los Altos CA vet tech schoolsAt this point you should have selected which veterinarian credential that you would like to obtain, and if you prefer to study online or attend a school on campus. Since there are a large number of veterinary community colleges, vocational and technical schools in the Los Altos CA area as well as across the Country, you need to ask some relevant questions in order to narrow down your list of options. As we discussed in our opening, many prospective students start by focusing on location and tuition expense. But we have previously touched on other important qualifiers, such as internship programs and accreditation. And of course you want to enroll in a college that offers the specialty and degree that you want to earn. These and other qualifications are addressed in the checklist of questions that you should ask the vet tech colleges that you are looking at.

Is the Veterinary Program Accredited?  It’s imperative that you confirm that the veterinary technician college you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. As previously mentioned, one of the most highly respected is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Vocational schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have undergone an extensive screening process that verifies you will get a superior education. Also, accreditation is essential if you are requesting a student loan or financial assistance, since a large number of programs are not available for non-accredited schools. And finally, having a certificate or degree from an accredited college is in many cases a requirement for employment for many Los Altos CA area vet practices and hospitals.

What is the College’s Reputation?  The veterinary trade school or college and program you choose should have an exceptional reputation within the vet field. You can begin your due diligence by asking the schools you are looking at for endorsements from the employers in their job placement network. Other tips include looking on internet school ranking websites and contacting the school’s accrediting agencies as well. You can ask the California school licensing department if there have been any complaints or violations involving your targeted schools. As a final suggestion, contact some Los Altos CA veterinary clinics that you might wish to work for after you go through your training. Ask what they think about your school choices. They might even suggest one or more schools not on your list.

Are there Internship Programs?  The most effective way to obtain clinical hands on experience as a vet tech is to work in a professional setting. Ask if the programs you are looking at have internship programs set up with Los Altos CA veterinarians, vet hospitals or clinics. Most veterinary medicine programs require clinical training and a large number provide it through internships. Not only will the experience be valuable as far as the practical training, but an internship may also help develop relationships in the local veterinary community and assist in the search for employment after graduation.

Is Job Placement Offered?  Finding a job after graduating from a veterinary technician college can be challenging without the assistance of a job placement program. First, ask what the graduation rates are for the programs you are considering. A low rate might indicate that the instructors were unqualified to teach the syllabus or that a number of students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. Next, confirm that the colleges have a job assistance program and find out what their placement rates are. A higher placement rate may signify that the program has an excellent reputation within the Los Altos CA veterinarian community and has a significant network of contacts for student placements. A low rate might signify that the training is not highly thought of by employers or that the job placement program is a failure at placing students.

How Large are the Classes?  If the classes are larger sized, you most likely will get little or no personalized instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Los Altos CA colleges you are considering what their class teacher to student ratios are. You might also decide to attend a few classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between students and instructors. Get feedback from students regarding the quality of instruction. Also, talk with the teachers and determine what their backgrounds are as well as their approaches to teaching.

Where is the College Located?  Yes, we previously talked about location, but there are several more points to make on the subject. If you are planning to commute to your veterinary technician classes from your Los Altos CA home, you need to make sure that the driving time fits into your schedule. For example, driving during the weekend to investigate the route won’t be the same as the drive during rush hour traffic, particularly if the school is located near or in a larger city. In addition, if you do decide to enroll in a school in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be increased tuition charges especially for community and state colleges. Of course attending online classes may be an option that will provide you with more flexibility and minimize the necessity for travel.

Is the Class Schedule Flexible?  And last, it’s imperative that you find out if the veterinarian programs you are exploring offer class times that are sufficiently flexible to fit your schedule. For instance, a number of students continue working full time and can only attend classes on the weekends or in the evenings near Los Altos CA. Others may only be able to attend classes in the morning or in the afternoon. Make certain that the class times you require are offered prior to enrolling. In addition, find out if you can make up classes that you may miss due to sickness, work or family emergencies. You may discover that an online program is the ideal way to fit your vet training into your hectic life.

Enrolling in a Vet Tech School near Los Altos CA?

If you have decided to attend a Veterinary Technician Program in the Los Altos California area, then you may find the following information about the location of your school campus interesting and informing.

Los Altos, California

Los Altos (/lɔːs ˈæltoʊs/ (listen)) is a city in Santa Clara County, California, in northern Silicon Valley, in the San Francisco Bay Area. The population was 28,976 according to the 2010 census.

Most of the city's growth occurred between 1950 and 1980. Originally an agricultural town with many summer cottages and apricot orchards, Los Altos is now an affluent commuter town in Silicon Valley. Los Altos has commercial zones, strictly limited to the downtown area, as well as small shopping and office parks lining Foothill Expressway and El Camino Real.

Homes and other real estate are costly in Los Altos. The median household income of Los Altos for 2006–2010 was $149,964.[9] The average home listing price in 2014 was $1.96 million.[10] In 2017, Forbes put Los Altos (94022 and 94024) as the 3rd and 48th most expensive ZIP codes in the United States with median home prices of $7,755,000 and $3,431,615, respectively.[11] In 2018, data from the American Community Survey revealed that Los Altos was the fifth wealthiest city in the United States.[12]

Choose the Ideal Veterinary Technician Program near Los Altos CA

Los Altos CA vet tech holding dogSelecting the ideal vet tech college is an important first step to beginning a fulfilling career providing care and treatment for animals. Future students looking into vet tech schools must make their selection based on a number of key issues. Veterinary technicians and technologists work in animal hospitals, veterinary clinics and animal shelters. They commonly handle administrative tasks and support the veterinarian with the animals as needed. As we have covered, it’s very important that you choose a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an excellent reputation within the profession. This goes for online vet tech programs as well. By asking the questions provided in our checklist for evaluating schools, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can make your final selection. And by selecting the right program, you can achieve your goal of becoming a vet tech in Los Altos CA.

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